Human rights violations and violent internal conflict

David Cingranelli, Skip Mark, Mark Gibney, Peter Haschke, Reed Wood, Daniel Arnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This research project uses econometric methods and comparative, cross-national data to see whether violations of human rights increase the likelihood of the onset or escalation of violent protest, terrorism and/or civil war. The findings show that these types of violent internal conflict will occur and escalate if governments: (1) torture, politically imprison, kill, or "disappear" people, (2) do not allow women to participate fully in the political system, including allowing them to hold high level national political office, and (3) do not allow women to participate fully in the economic life of the nation by ensuring equal pay for equal work, by encouraging their entry to the highest paid occupations, and by protecting them from sexual harassment at their workplaces. These types of violations of human rights and the existence of large horizontal inequalities in societies independently produce an increased risk of the onset and escalation of many forms of violent internal conflict. The results also provide some evidence for the argument that there is a trade-off between liberty and security.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number41
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Conflict
  • Disappearances
  • Extrajudicial killings
  • Grievance theory
  • Horizontal inequality
  • Human rights
  • Political imprisonment
  • Political violence
  • Torture
  • Women's rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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